Tieks: A Perfect Pretty, Packable, Polished Shoe.
I can't claim to be the most stylish person to ever hit the road. There was that first summer of backpacking in Europe, when I brought along just one pair of trousers. There was also a sarong and clogs combo that I wore to an Easter church service in Birmingham. And the two - count em, TWO - bright orange cotton T-shirts I brought along to Malawi that I am convinced played a role in attracting a higher than normal level of mosquitoes. But I'm slowly growing up and my travels are evolving to include more business and formal occasions -but I still love my bare bones, carry on luggage. So exactly what am I wearing on my feet for special occasions?
Enter Tieks by Gavrieli ballet flats. A million times above and beyond the roll-up flats marketed to women as after-dance-club footwear, Tieks are hand stitched leather (or vegan fabric) ballet flats that can be folded up for easy packing and transportation. They are sturdy and durable and comfortable, yet lightweight and flexible. They come in a pretty box, with a pretty flower elastic wrapped around the top (confession: I've used it as a hair tie!), and it includes two bags - one for keeping Tieks in your purse and one for carrying the shoes you have just changed out of. But the best thing about Tieks is their colors - there are dozens upon dozens to choose from, including a soft ballet pink, an electric yellow, a patent leather mint, a glitter infused rose gold, a copper snakeskin, and my favourite of the lot - clover green.
I rarely travel with high heels, so I'm not in position to comment about how nice it is to change from the torture of spiky stilettos to a pair of nice soft flats, but I did put my Tieks through their paces on our round the world trip. I found them to be an ideal solution anytime I wanted to look more polished and put together. They were comfortable, non-slip, and I'm so glad I chose a bright color that popped against my otherwise mostly neutral colored wardrobe.
While Tieks are infinitely more comfortable than the standard fold up ballet style shoe, I still wouldn't wear them for a long day of walking and sightseeing. It's not unusual for me to walk 10 to 20 kilometers each day that I travel and, in general, a more supportive shoe would be recommended under such circumstances. Like most flat shoes, Tieks have a very minimal amount of of cushioning.
Tieks start at $175 for basic, solid colored leather flats and go up to $295 for fabric rosette encrusted shoes. Several times a year, Tieks offers coupon codes for up to 20% off and it is worth signing up for their mailing list if you are contemplating a pair. American residents can take advantage of free delivery but Canadians are not so fortunate - shipping costs upwards of $30-$40 and GST duty is also applicable. If you're anticipating both purchasing Tieks in the near future as well as travelling to the United States, you would save close to $100 by having the Tieks delivered to your temporary American address. Speaking of Canada - Tieks are perfect for a Canuck girl who wears massive snow boots all winter long and needs an easy pair of pretty shoes to bring along to winter social gatherings!
I would recommend Tieks to anyone who is travelling with a minimal amount of luggage and wants a comfortable, lightweight, easy to pack shoe for special occasions. There's a colour and style for every personality and preference, and they're a fun way to add versatility and personality to a travel wardrobe.
I'd love to hear from you? How do you balance lightweight packing and special occasions?
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At my request, I was given a media discount when purchasing my Tieks in order to help facilitate my review. This did not affect my opinions or my review.